Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of the Stephen King novel still remains a genuine horror classic thanks to the brilliant and mad-driven performance of Jack Nicholson.
Jack Torrance is a former teacher turned writer who has taken a job to become caretaker of the Overlook Hotel in Colorado during the closing of the hotel for the next five months. Despite hearing a story of the last caretaker killing his family within the walls of the hotel, Jack has the opportunity to keep busy while working on his writing. He brings his wife Wendy and five-year old son Danny with him.
Upon their arrival, everything seems okay at first. Each day goes by quite well. However, Danny finds himself plagued with visions and hauntings. Despite being told by head chef Dick Halloran not to enter a certain room, Danny becomes curious and finds himself with a power he never imagined having. Meanwhile, Jack slowly becomes insane and much like the last caretaker, becomes unhinged and intends to kill his family. Will Wendy and Danny be able to escape the maniacal Jack, or will they become the next victims of the Overlook Hotel’s secrets?
The legendary Stanley Kubrick co-wrote and directed this adaptation of the Stephen King novel with the intent of pushing his cast to their limits. And that he successfully does just that with Jack Nicholson giving one of his greatest and most well-known performances in the role of Jack Torrance. The audience feels the spirit of Jack going from mild-mannered to crazy maniac with the pacing moving very smoothly for its nearly 2 and a half hour running time.
As for Shelley Duvall, the numerous reports that she was pushed to the limits from Kubrick seems imminent. During a scene where she is explaining to the doctor about Jack’s former use of alcoholism and how an accidental event of abuse leads to him quitting drinking, it is clear Duvall looks very uncomfortable. And to make matters worse, when Jack finally goes off the deep end into insanity, we see Duvall is absolute shock and in fear. And for a director like Kubrick to pull off what he did, it can be clear why Duvall would be proud and scared of doing anything like that again.
Making his film debut is Danny Lloyd, who is excellent at playing young Danny Torrance. As a youngster who slowly begins to realize the power he has within himself, he is more scared as to how to cope with seeing the malevolence within the hotel walls. Who can forget the twins? And the infamous hall of blood? Scatman Crothers gives great support in the role of Dick, the chef of the hotel who serves as a mentor to Danny as he too has what’s called the titular power.
The Shining still remains a horror classic thanks to the performances of Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, and young Danny Lloyd with classic scenes that hold the tests of time and have been used in many pop culture references over the years.
WFG RATING: A+
Warner Brothers presents a Hawk Films production in association with Peregrine. Director: Stanley Kubrick. Producer: Stanley Kubrick. Writers: Stanley Kubrick and Diane Johnson; based on the novel by Stephen King. Cinematography: John Alcott. Editing: Ray Lovejoy.
Cast: Jack Nicholson, Shelly Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers, Barry Nelson, Philip Stone, Joe Turkel, Anne Jackson, Tony Burton.